My kids and I met another mom who was traveling without her hubby on the cruise. Neither of us had a shore excursion planned for Belize and we had heard on Tripadvisor that the Belize Zoo was the #1 attraction in Belize City. Here are my tips for making the most of this excursion.
Make your way out of the cruise terminal area and past all of the tour operators that will be trying to get your business (usually in bright colored shirts). You will pass through a well air-conditioned building that will have shopping to the right and more tour companies on your left. Just ignore or politely decline their services and go out of the other side of the building. Here, you will get more bang for your buck. There will still be tour operators on this side, but you will have more room for negotiating. Find an operator who will take you to the zoo, stay there with you (taxis are hard to come by while at the zoo) and bring you back to the cruise terminal. Agree on a set fee (NEGOTIATE!). We had 5 people in our party and didn’t pay more than $25 a person. The zoo is about a 40 minute drive from the cruise terminal.
None of the animals in the zoo have been taken from the wild. The have either been injured, born there, given as gifts, or orphaned. Entry is $15 USD for adults and $5 USD for children. (Hint: If you have a large family, you can purchase a family membership for $35 and get a year’s free admission, plus a cool bumper sticker!).
The Belize Zoo is small, yet uncrowded. Some of the animals you will see include the king vulture, black spider and howler monkeys (my personal favorite), puma, macaw, ocelot. Some of the lesser known animals you will see include peccaries, agouti, paca, and coatimundi.
The zoo also provides animal encounters and even accommodations. My kids, ages 6 and 15 had a great time. Grab some lunch at the gift shop/cafe. Try the hot sauce on the table and if you like it, purchase some to take home in the gift shop. (I wish I had gotten more).
Have you been to the Belize Zoo? Are you thinking about going? Post your questions in the comments below, and be sure to like my page on Facebook.